3 benefits of using water-based ink for screen printing

water based paint used by screen printing company

There are two kinds of inks that are typically used in the screen printing industry: plastisol and water-based.

For many years, plastisol inks were the conventional choice because they were easier to use. However, today many printers now allow you to choose between plastisol and water-based inks. Because of their qualities, you might find each one better for different circumstances.

Here are some reasons why you may want to use water-based inks for your t-shirt screen printing needs.

1. It’s more eco-friendly than plastisol

The traditional option, plastisol inks, aren’t as eco-friendly as their water-based counterparts. In fact, they’re made from a combination of PVC resin and plasticiser — essentially liquid plastic, which is what gives this type of ink its name.

Water-based ink is free from both of those ingredients, and is often free from additional chemicals like hydrocarbons too. Although it’s not 100% free from plastics, they’re typically better for the environment.

2. T-shirts printed with water-based inks feel softer and more breathable

Most plastisol inks are heavier than the water-based versions, so they sit on top of the fabric after the screen printing process is complete. If you ran your hand over the top of a t-shirt printed with these inks, you would be able to feel the design.

On the other hand, t-shirts printed with water-based ink soaks right in (a quality called soft hand) because it dyes the fabric itself. This allows your shirt to feel softer and move more flexibly than those printed with plastisol. The result? A screen-printed image that looks and feels like it was an original part of the shirt.

If you or your customers have sensitive skin, water-based inks may be the better option for your screen printing process.

3. It results in high-quality screen-printed images

Because of the qualities associated with water-based ink, t-shirts made with this kind of ink usually last for a long time too.

Earlier, we mentioned that fabrics absorb water-based inks much more readily than plastisol ones. Because the shirt holds onto the ink well, your design should last just as long as the fabric itself.

Of course, the durability of any screen-printed image largely depends on how well you take care of it. Make sure to always use a gentle detergent and cycle every time you wash your t-shirts, and avoid high heat when drying and ironing them as well.

Request a free quote for your screen printing project from Shirt Agency

Our Los Angeles-based team uses both plastisol and water-based inks in our screen printing process, which means you have the option to choose between the two for your next order. However, that’s not the only reason why you should choose us for your next screen printing project.

We also offer drop shipping and fulfillment services for all of our t-shirt screen printing orders to make delivery of your custom t-shirts a simple and easy process. And if you’re hosting an event, we also offer live screen-printing to give your guests a one-of-a-kind experience they won’t find anywhere else.

Contact us today using the form on our website to get a free quote for your next t-shirt screen printing project. On the other hand, if you have any pressing questions or concerns about our services, you can call us directly at (213) 358-6593.